The Wells College women's basketball team was picked fourth in the North Eastern Athletic Conference preseason coaches poll for the 2016-17 season.
Wells returns three starters from a team that posted a 16-10 overall record and 12-6 mark in the NEAC during the 2015-16 season. Wells placed third in the North Division and qualified for the conference playoffs, where the Express fell in a first-round game against Morrisville State College.
Among the top returners for Wells are Ashida Cooper, Kamarie Maturine, and Shelby Medovich. Cooper was an All-NEAC First Team selection last season and led Wells by averaging 18.8 points per game. Maturine and Medovich each started 25 of 26 overall games for Wells. Maturine led Wells with 8.5 rebounds per game and added 7.4 points per game. Medovich averaged 9.6 points per game as a freshman.
The Express heads into the 2016-17 season under the leadership of head coach Tara Ruckh who is in her first season at Wells College following an 11-year stint as head coach of Potsdam State.
Wells begins its season Tuesday, Nov. 15 at home against Alfred University at 5 p.m. The first NEAC game for the Express is Nov. 30 at Cazenovia College.
Defending league champion SUNY Polytechnic Institute was picked first in the poll with seven first-place votes. Morrisville State College was second and Bryn Athyn College was third. The preseason poll rankings were conducted by the NEAC men's basketball coaches, with each coach ranking out all teams but their own using a staggered points system.
2016-17 NEAC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
(First-place votes in parentheses)
1. SUNY Polytechnic Institute (7), 155
2. Morrisville State College (4), 148
3. Bryn Athyn College (2), 144
4. Wells College, 114
5. Lancaster Bible College (1), 106
6. SUNY Cobleskill, 102
7. College of Saint Elizabeth, 101
8. Gallaudet University, 95
9. Keuka College, 89
10. Penn State Abington, 81
11. Penn State Berks, 45
12. Cazenovia College, 43
13. Penn College, 31
14. Wilson College, 20